Need to woo a partner in time for Valentine's? Follow these simple, evidence-based instructions for boosting your irresistibility ... (Feb 2012 update: see what happens if you take these tips too literally).
When asking a lady for a dance or for her number, your chances will be improved by lightly touching her on the arm. Try not to do it in a creepy way.
Use mimicry, bodily and verbal. Use mimicry, bodily and verbal (see what I did there?)
If you're male, try to make yourself look taller and vice versa for women.
Hire a sports car, if you're a man, but don't bother if you're a woman. Both sexes should avoid Toyotas - that's a joke, please don't sue, they're lovely cars.
When flirting with a man, use direct, no-nonsense chat up lines rather than the subtle or witty approach. Men are very easily confused you know.
When wooing a woman, use chat-up lines that demonstrate your helpfulness, generosity, athleticism, ‘culture’ and wealth. Don't bother with jokes, empty compliments and sexual references. This ought to do it - 'Hey gorgeous, sorry I'm late: the opera over-ran, then I had to race to my neighbour's to help carry her piano upstairs - the one I bought her as a moving-in present'.
Try not to come across as too desperate. Don't, whatever you do, admit to reading this blog post.
If you're a really handsome man, don't show off your wealth too much - women might just conclude that you're likely to be unfaithful in the future. And anyway Mr Clooney, I'm sure you don't need these tips.
You hunky smile magnet! Here's a good one for heterosexual men: get friends of the opposite sex to smile at you. Women apparently find a man's face more attractive after it's been smiled at by a woman.
If you're a larger woman, keep your chosen man hungry and he's more likely to find you attractive.
Don't flirt and drive! Remember gentleman, interacting with a lady can impair your cognitive faculties.
Wear red. If nothing else, your little scarlet number will match your blushing cheeks as you smile with bashful pride at the compliment your date (hopefully) just paid you.
Desperate situations require desperate measures. If, despite all your romantic efforts, your date remains decidedly unfrisky, you could try reminding them of death. Warning: This could backfire.
Finally, here's a Time magazine article on flirting, just to get you in the mood.
Happy Valentine's day for Monday! (Apologies for male, heterosexual bias - this is a reflection of the available research literature)
Image credit: Clandestini